You probably had raw cashew cheesecake, but have you had baked vegan cheesecake? This classic vegan strawberry New York-style baked cheesecake with a graham cracker crust is really, really good. Give it a try ASAP!
I don’t have anything against raw vegan cheesecakes (they’re surprisingly delicious!), but there’s nothing quite like a baked cheesecake. Raw versions don’t really come close, and you have to keep them in the freezer to stay solid.
We’ve been thinking about this recipe for quite a while now. It took many, many trials (not mad – we’ve eaten lots of cheesecake recently), and we’re happy to finally share the final product with you!
The baked vanilla vegan cheesecake base is versatile and can be topped with just about anything. We settled on a simple strawberry sauce as a nod to New York-style cheesecake. It’s just as delicious as it looks!
Just like many other vegan baking recipes (crème brûlée, for example), this recipe take a bit of patience. However, all things considered, it’s actually pretty easy to make, especially compared to regular cheesecake. No water bath required here!
If this is your first time making a vegan cheesecake, be sure to read all the way through this post for some helpful tips + explanations. If you have any specific questions, please leave a comment below!
How to make classic vegan cheesecake
This recipe starts with a simple graham cracker crust, followed by a luscious, creamy vanilla filling and an easy strawberry sauce.
The crust couldn’t be easier. Just pulse together graham crackers, melted butter and sugar in a food processor until they form a fine crumb. You can use regular or gluten free graham crackers.
Press the crust firmly into the bottom of a springform pan. I use a measuring cup to make sure the crust is as tightly packed as possible. It also helps keep the crust even.
The crust doesn’t need to be baked ahead of time, so next it’s time to make the filling.
Baked Vegan Cheesecake Ingredients
- Raw cashews: soak raw, unsalted cashews in room temperature water for 2 hours. This helps soften them so they can blend into a perfectly smooth, creamy filling. If you’re short on time, soak for 30 minutes in very hot water.
- Coconut cream: we’re talking the stuff from a can. Typically found in the aisle with other Asian food products. Don’t shake the can before opening. Only use the top layer of cream – NOT the layer of liquid at the bottom of the can.
- Vegan cream cheese: there are tons of great vegan cream cheeses out there. We’ve tried this with a few varieties and have had success with each.
- Agave or maple syrup: We used agave nectar to keep the color of this cheesecake whiter, but maple syrup is a perfectly fine option.
- Lemon juice & zest: essential for that tangy, quintessential cheesecake flavor!
- Vanilla: vanilla extract will do, but if you have whole vanilla beans or vanilla bean paste, use those instead for extra flavor.
- Arrowroot powder or cornstarch: both help bind and thicken this baked vegan cheesecake. They’re an essential ingredient, otherwise the cheesecake won’t quite hold up. Either works perfectly fine!
The filling is incredibly easy to make. Simply add everything to a high speed blender and give it a whirl! Depending on your blender, you may have to blend more than one to make it super creamy. You shouldn’t have any lumps or cashew pieces.
Bake low and slow
The key to this vegan cheesecake is baking it for close to an hour at a low heat (300˚F). Then, after the hour is up, turn off your oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 30-45 minutes.
Once the cheesecake is finished baking, let it cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Then, transfer to the refrigerator and chill for a few hours until it’s completely firmed up.
Don’t worry if the cheesecake still looks a bit uncooked when you take it out of the oven. It takes a few hours to completely set in the fridge.
While the cheesecake is chilling, whip up a quick strawberry sauce.
In a saucepan, combine fresh or frozen strawberries, water (or orange juice), lemon juice, sugar and a bit of arrowroot powder. Simmer for about 5 minutes and gently mash strawberries with the back of a spoon.
For a super easy version, simply toss sliced strawberries in 2 tablespoon of sugar and let macerate. Spoon over top of cheesecake.
Not a fan of strawberry sauce? You could sub with just about any other fruit (blueberries, raspberries, cherries, etc), or just regular fresh berries.
We also love topping this classic vegan cheesecake with chocolate and/or caramel. If you want to get really wild, add some chopped peanut butter cups, cookies, whipped cream, really anything!
More vegan cakes & tarts
- Citrus Olive Oil Cake
- Lemon Almond Layer Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
- Chocolate Hazelnut Tart
- Purple Sweet Potato Pie
- Coconut Cake via the Almond Eater
- Vegan Chocolate Pie
If you make this baked vegan strawberry cheesecake, we’d love for you to leave a comment and rating below! We also love to see your creations on Instagram – tag us at @crowded_kitchen so we can see what you’ve been cooking.
This classic vegan strawberry New York-style baked cheesecake with a graham cracker crust is really, really good. Give it a try ASAP!
- 8 oz graham crackers (gluten free or regular)
- 5 tablespoon vegan butter, melted
- 2 tablespoon cane sugar
- 1 cup raw cashews (soaked for 1–2 hours in room temp water)
- 1 cup coconut cream*
- 14 oz vegan cream cheese
- ¾ cup agave nectar
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 16 oz of fresh or frozen strawberries, halved or quartered
- 2 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- ½ tablespoon arrowroot powder
- Preheat oven to 300˚F.
- In a food processor, pulse graham crackers, melted butter and sugar until they form a fine crumb mixture. Press into the bottom of an 8-10″ springform pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to press down firmly in an even layer.
- Add cashews, coconut cream and cream cheese to a blender and blend well. Add remaining filling ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. This may take more than one blend cycle depending on your blender.
- Pour filling on top of crust, place cheesecake pan on a baking sheet (to prevent leaks) and bake for 1 hour. After 1 hour, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in for another 30-45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerator for a few hours until completely chilled and set (3-5 hours).
- To make strawberry sauce, add all ingredients to a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes. Gently mash strawberries with a spoon. Remove from heat and let cool before topping cheesecake.
*Coconut cream is found in a can. Only use the top cream layer, not the liquid underneath. Can sub with full fat coconut milk, but again, only use the top layer of cream.
You can substitute agave nectar with maple syrup.
- Category: Dessert
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: baked vegan cheesecake